Health professionals leave state hospital in labor dispute

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A group of health professionals say they’re walking out of the state-run mental hospital over a labor dispute.

WMUR-TV reports that the 12 psychiatrists and nurse practitioners walked out Thursday from New Hampshire Hospital due to changes being made Friday, when Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center will take control of a state contract held by Dartmouth College since the 1980s.

Sean List, the attorney who represents them, says Dartmouth-Hitchcock proposed to eliminate pay raises, change vacation and restructure retirement benefits.

The Executive Council granted Dartmouth College a four-month contract extension on the state’s mental health hospital. But they transferred the contract to Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeffery Meyers says the state doesn’t get involved in negotiating individual contracts of physicians.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock and New Hampshire Hospital officials say care will continue uninterrupted.

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